Missouri Republicans can do the entire Grand Old Party a massive favor in today’s U.S. Senate primary: Keep Eric Greitens as far away as possible from the Republican nomination.
The Show Me State’s former governor is a potential time bomb who could flatten the GOP’s promising prospects to win the U.S. House and, perhaps, the Senate. His dynamite bundle of scandals could jeopardize the seat now held by retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. Even worse, Greitens and his apparent record of horrifying behavior could hand the left-wing media a truncheon with which to torture GOP candidates from coast to coast.
The stories told of Greitens’ personal life read like a set of twin advertisements for marital therapy and anger management. His reported misbehavior was so bad that he fled the Missouri governor’s mansion in disgrace.
The details in just the following three published articles could plunge the jaws of such miscreants as former President Bill Clinton and fallen filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.
The Kansas City Star states:
Greitens has come under withering attack over past allegations of sexual assault and blackmail, which led him to resign as governor in 2018, as well as allegations by his ex-wife that he was physically and emotionally abusive toward her and their young children.
Says the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Greitens was on the verge of being impeached in 2018 when he stepped down as governor after allegations that he had tied up his hairdresser in his basement, coerced her into a sexual act, and took a seminude photo of her to keep her from disclosing their affair. Mr. Greitens admitted the affair but denied the other allegations and was never convicted of any crime. Mr. Greitens also has denied the domestic-abuse allegations made in an affidavit filed in March by Sheena Greitens, Missouri’s former first lady, as part of a child-custody dispute.
The New Republic recalls:
Greitens’s downfall from the governorship was rooted in a sex scandal centered on his mistress accusing him of a forced sexual encounter in his basement. Graphic sworn testimony of the encounter became public. It described how Greitens blindfolded her, tore her clothes off, and then took a photo without her consent to use as blackmail in case she ever came forward about the affair. Around that time, St. Louis prosecutors filed separate criminal charges over how Greitens used his donor list. Greitens maintained his innocence in both cases, but pressure kept mounting. It didn’t help that even though Republicans controlled the legislature, they despised him. He resigned in the summer of 2018.
At worst, Greitens is guilty of injuring his ex-wife and children and physically restraining his hair stylist. At best, he is innocent of the most egregious of these charges.
Either way, the left-wing media will interrogate him about these matters non-stop. Greitens will be on constant defense.
Don’t be surprised if confidential court records in his custody case magically emerge, chock full of shocking revelations about Greitens’ marriage, his extramarital affair, his alleged handcuffing of one of his children, and perhaps other kinks still unknown.
Amid all of this, good luck to Greitens should he try to focus on inflation, high energy prices, the U.S.–Mexico “border,” or any issue whatsoever beyond his troubling private life.
Voters already are expressing their misgivings. Trump supporter Steven Johnson, a 65-year-old retired science teacher, told the Wall Street Journal that he would not vote for Greitens for the Senate come November. “I would just leave it blank,” Johnson said. “He’s got a lot of stains, a lot of baggage that these other candidates don’t have.”
Greitens’ misdeeds are perfect — if Republicans hope to scare away female voters. Frightful tales of a battered wife and a bound paramour are no lure for women or the men who love them.
Even worse, pro-Democrat journalists will light the fuses on these explosives and hurl them at GOP contenders for Senate, House, governor, county commissioner, and school board. They will say, “Given Eric Greitens’ record of domestic abuse, do you support his campaign for the U.S. Senate?”
Republican candidates then will have to associate themselves with Greitens, run from him, or dodge these questions — over and over again. Any answer will create headaches for the Right. The headlines are easy to predict: “Pennsylvania’s Senate candidate Dr. Oz backs Greitens, despite accusations of wife-beating” or “In growing GOP rift, Georgia’s Herschel Walker splits with Missouri’s Greitens.”
Either story would hurt Republicans. And there will be hundreds like them if Greitens wins the nomination tonight.
Greitens’ moral shortcomings say nothing of this former Democrat’s feuds with his Republican legislature. Less infighting and more leadership by Greitens could have yielded greater results for the people of Missouri.
So, what should Show Me State Republicans do today? The easiest way to avoid an Ozark-sized unforced error is for primary voters to defuse Greitens before he blows the entire GOP sky high.
They should pick the other Eric.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is a full-throated, combative conservative. He calls his current campaign swing “Fight Tyranny. Crush Socialism. Save America.” What’s not to love about that?
Schmitt repeatedly has sued the Biden administration on COVID-19 mandates, critical race theory, illegal immigration, gun control, and more. This confirms his fighting instincts.
Schmitt is a frequent guest on cable news shows, where he is a telegenic, well-spoken, and effective advocate for free enterprise, limited government, law and order, and border security.
Schmitt also enjoys the endorsements of such stalwart organizations and individuals on the right as Americans for Prosperity, the Senate Conservatives Fund, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and President Donald J. Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, Esq.
This attorney general deserves a promotion to the U.S. Senate. Aside from being strong on policy, he is politically savvy enough to know how vital it is to keep Missouri’s Senate seat in Republican hands. As Eric Schmitt recently said, “This is a 50-50 Senate. There are no Mulligans here.”
Manhattan-based political commentor Deroy Murdock is a Fox News Contributor.